Monday, May 15, 2006

Things they don't tell you before you have a baby - #1348

Imagine you're a relatively new mother to a 12 month old daughter. After you've survived the first 5 months of hell things are finally going swimmingly. Naps and nighttime sleeping schedules are met with relative ease (everything being relative when you have a baby). Mealtimes, though not the most pleasant part of the day, almost always culminate with some sort of healthy nourishment being ingested - either by the baby or by you because you hate the idea of throwing away yet another jar of sweet potatoes. The baby's development is progressing exceptionally well according to the medical schedules. And to put the cherry on the sundae, after nursing your child for that magic number of 365 days you've successfully weaned her with little drama or pain, psychological or physical, to either party.

Bolstered by your obvious natural ability for raising above average children you begin to let your guard down. You start to coast. When your child cries you very rarely feel compulsion to twitch, thinking the colic is back. When friends or family call, asking to visit, you can tell them with absolute certainty what the best time of the day would be to come by because you know, down to 10 minutes, when you're child will go down and wake up from her naps. And then...

Wham!

Karma, first cousin to Fate and Lucy, steps in and pulls the football away just when you were about to kick the game winning field goal. Uh, uh, uuuh, not so fast, she says, your baby is now becoming a toddler. And with that you get:

Attitude to spare. Tantrums. A change in nap schedule (You lose the morning nap and only get one nap a day. If you're lucky.) And, saving the best for last (so far) - Constipation.


Why the hell didn't anyone tell me about this?!


I guess I shouldn't have put away those baby books.

39 comments:

Christina said...

Oh, sorry, I thought you'd figure all that out reading my blog. ;)

I give Cordy a sippy cup of 1/3 pure juice, 2/3 water each day. It helps a lot with the constipation issue. As for attitude, tantrums, and dropping to one nap? Can't give you much advice there. Welcome to toddlerhood.

Nancy said...

It's baffling, that baby-to-toddler transition. You have them all figured out, or almost, and they start to become more independent. You think, "hey, this is wonderful! Eating better, sleeping better..."

THEN toddlerhood hits and you have this completely unpredictable being, like an alien. Each day, each hour, each minute they want something different than the next, and won't hesitate to tell you that.

And I hear it just gets worse with the teen years?!?!? Is it too late to get that refund? ;-)

rhonda said...

Oh the tantrums and change in nap schedule...those days are TOUGH!

I don't miss them one bit LOL!

lynsalyns said...

Toddlerhood knocked me on my ass. One morning Emmie tried to eat a penny, threw my panties in the toilet and stood at the gate to the stairway banging a sippy cup on the bars like an inmate. The same week she dropped her AM nap. I share you pain. It gets better, though. At 17 months, we are having a BLAST.

Fidget said...

I'm still reeling from teh change. Tessa is 2 1/2 running headlong into preschooler and I still haven't taken a breath.

a teaspoon or three of dark Karo syrup in some milk will usually kick start the bowels.. it might take a day or two of dosing it but when it works... watch out

Blog Antagonist said...

The one nap a day tragedy is a tough one to deal with. I mourned it for a long time.

Tantrums...yeah, an unfortunate by-product of sentience, I'm afraid. They suck, but they do go away.

Constipation...if you've recently weaned and she is drinking iron fortified formula, it could be the culprit. Try low iron formula for a while and see if that helps. Feed her some stewed prunes or prune juice. I don't know why, but that stuff is like super colon blow for babies.

GL. It gets easier. I promise. :?)

mo-wo said...

And, if we told you... What difference would it have made anyway... Mama makes the best answers herself -- from scratch!

Good luck

ps.. there are some silver linings on the single nap schedule, let me know when you find 'em ;> I'll be the one on the fence with the Gatorade cup

Beth said...

Yeah, wait until you have another one, and it's a BOY! I thought The Girl's transition to toddlerhood was tough. It was a breeze. I thought The Boy was going to be my sweet quiet one. Yeah, then he grew up. He's two and a half now, and I'm wondering what the return policy is.

something blue said...

Neither of my children thought that it was a good idea to take a nap. They slept through the night so I tried not to complain to loudly. Every child is different so it's hard to know which warning to shout out. Beware of going up escalators.

Used to steam apples and prunes and then mash them to cure constipation.

carrie said...

Your post really hits home! Just wait until your daughter transitions to no naps at all! Watch out and watch the heads spin (both of yours, unfortunately). I am soooo envious of mothers with kids who nap like three HOURS a day and still sleep thirteen HOURS at night! Can you imagine?

Pattie said...

What I have learned about kids is just when you think you've got it figured out, there is another "stage" to transition into....at all ages! :)
Luckily, the tantrums will go away eventually, she may wean herself from no nap (hopefully not for a looonnnggg time!) and for constipation? You can try any of the above suggestions which are all good. You can also try giving her extra water to drink.
I've actually bought books like "What to Expect from your 6-year old"...I don't think that is the exact title...but, something like that, just to have some guidance on the new behaviors I witness. Ahhh...parenting...it's dynamic, huh?

J's Mommy said...

Screw the baby books. They don't tell you what it's REALLY like anyway! Toddlerhood is amazing and exhausting at the same time. I am in the thick of it and sometimes I want to rip my hair out. I just keep telling myself every day that it's temporary, as with all things toddler. Hang in there mama!!

mm said...

Yeah, they (kids) don't read the books.... so I've stopped too!
A quick trip to the chiropractor can help with bowel issues. With all the crawling/walking/bumping/jumping that goes on there is a quick little adjustment which helps.
A lot. Make sure Chicky isn't wearing something you really like. Waterproof anything you put her on. Beware, or is that be aware? huh.
Anyway, despite my nursing and prunes and pears... my 2nd needed to see our chiropractor once a month to make sure things were in place (three visits total).
k -a new mom in the neighbourhood

sunshine scribe said...

Oh I feel your pain. Loosing the nap was hard but the tantrums were even harder. But you will get back on your game and it will get easier ... just in time for her to turn into a preschooler.

Sounds like she has a great mom who can handle it with grace :)

Poopydigs said...

OH my. NOT looking forward to the tantrums.

Constipation, at any age, sucks! Big time. am so not looking forward to having to pull out turd from my daughter's bee-hind.

Carrcakes said...

Constipation has controlled our lives since day 1. I feel your pain. Mineral oil is about the only thing that helps us.

mrsmogul said...

I cant deal with this LOL...too much to think about in the near future! I'm happy my baby is regular in the number two dept...I'm prepared though!!

mothergoosemouse said...

Oh yes. I know the transition well. CJ is really letting fly with the tantrums now, and I'm just thrilled to pieces to have TWO little drama queens. Really - I AM thrilled. I just need some earplugs and a martini.

Constipation - that issue I know well. Definitely try all the other food and drink based suggestions FIRST. But if it is still an issue, then try Fletcher's Castoria. It tastes like root beer and works fabulously well. Tacy suffered from terrible constipation, and it truly did not matter what she ate or drank. Nor did suppositories or enemas help (yes, we got pretty desperate). Fletcher's is DA BOMB.

Mamacita Tina said...

Naptime, bye-bye. We moved our son to a twin so that we could use the crib for the baby. He discovered he could get in and out (mostly out) when he pleased. You can imagine what it takes to get him to stay put.

Jess Riley said...

See, I'm just glad I can read your archives when I have a constipated toddler myself someday. :)

reluctant housewife said...

GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

I'm dealing with changing nap schedules right at this moment. I thought it was jet lag, but noooooo, no morning nap for us!

I'm in mourning. Also, I don't know how I'll ever shower.

Kristen said...

I'm there. Leah just turned one on April 9th. So trust me, you aren't alone. I've been trying to reason with a little girl who doesn't (or just refuese to maybe?) understand why she can't get up onto the couch unsupervised. Every time I turn around, she's "ditting" on the couch.

Lisa said...

I found you through Izzy's site.

I HEAR you sister. Just when you THINK you've got it all figured out, they kick you in the pants (figuratively of course.) Every time I think my son has got his bed wetting stuff under control, he wakes me up at 3 a.m. crying because he's all wet!

blackbeltmama said...

Found you through Izzy too. It's funny, just when you think you have a routine, they change it all up. I spent the day with my friend and her two year old. I completely forgot how volatile they can be. I'm not looking forward to round 2 with my second daughter.

HeatherJ said...

Oh yeah, you thought it was getting easy? Wrong-o Mrs. Chicky! They just get different. The tantrums have a lot to do with frustration over why you just won't give them what they want in the first place. Those do get a little better as you start learning how to communicate with them. Signing?

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...

Oh please, baby books don't cover toddler years and toddlers don't become toddlers for most parents this early.

Consider yourself lucky. If your little sweet pea is into everything now, you'll be completely prepped when the "terrible two's happen." Maybe they'll happen at 18 months, or maybe they won't happen until 3 years old, it really depends on where your child is developmentally.

Remember, with your baby graduating into toddlerhood comes the language burst, which I found the best part of parenting so far. For us, this happened at 14 months. At 14 months our daughter had 50 words and began putting them together in phrases. By 18 months she was making sentences.

My advice, move everything to very high shelves in your home, set strict rules that say, "when we are out, you must always hold my hand and you can never run away from mommy." and you will have wonderful toddler time.

It's fun. It's waaaaayyyyyyy more fun than baby time.

I promise. Really. No, seriously!

Would this face lie to you?

Mommy off the Record said...

Damn you blogger, you erased my comment! Arggg. Anyway, what I was saying was basically:

1) Do you really eat the baby food leftovers? I thought I was good at not being wasteful, but you my friend have taken to a new level. I'm impressed.

2) For constipation try 1/2-1 jar of pureed prunes a day. You may have heard of this already, but just in case...

SUEB0B said...

Uh oh. Toddlerhood is upon you. Don't worry. It will be over in 20 years or so.

All the mentions of Fletcher's castoria...I can still smell the stuff in my mind.

petite gourmand said...

from one mother of a 12 month old girl to another...
prunes, prunes and more prunes....

Her Bad Mother said...

I kinda wish that you hadn't told me this. I kinda like dreaming that it just gets easier and easier and easier.

But I suppose that forewarned is forearmed. Bring on the prunes!

Tori said...

Very funny...
I remember it well. Half of you laments baby and yet some of you is kind of interested in this new person but wonders where the hell the manual is...
Oh the joys!
Nice post Chickita...

Mother Bumper said...

you're scarying me... I guess I'm in trouble but it's too late to back out ;) Can I just say - your girl is so freakin' cute! Good luck - I know you can handle it.

jennster said...

you are freaking me out and i will never want to have another and then i can blame you. lol

kittenpie said...

oh yes, every time you start to figure it out and get on top of it and it gets something close to easy to maintain, they change the rules. And that's the rule!

sweatpantsmom said...

I love the 'Peanuts' analogy - perfect! I think we all have our share of 'Charlie Brown' moments.

And, not to scare you, but they keep pulling the football out as they get older. My ten year old is way past tantrums, but has perfected the art of brooding. Less show, but more drama.

Domestic Chicky said...

I am so there with you! My little dood turns one on June 11th. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why he's waking up at night again, when his naps have stayed the same...DOH! So now we're beginning the transition (ok, me really, he's happy all the time. Mommy @ 1:30 am? Not so much.)
No problems with constipation yet, but I wasn't able to bf lil dood, so we're switching him over to regular milk. Which shouldn't be a big deal, since he's been sneaking sips from big brother's sippy for the last month.

Izzy said...

lol...great post!

I ask myself that question all the time.

Don't EVER get comfortable. That's the name of the game. Nothing ever lasts and they're always changing. Just when you think you've got a handle on it, they change again.

That's my most honest 2 cents.

Hope it helps :)

Chaotic Mom said...

Man, I'm commenter #38? I'm sure it's already been said by someone else. I love my boys, but if I had known THEN what I know NOW, I don't know if I would have had kids. Sounds horrible, doesn' it? We are totally blessed, but also very stressed. All the time. I worry all the time and mostly becasue I have kids. I was the never-crying-Charles-Bronson-movie-watching kind of gal, now I cry all the time over the tiniest boy related injury/insult/malady. Sigh...

It's good to know your personal limits, too. Two babies was my personal limit. I learned that after having son #3. I wouldn't give any of them back, not in a bajillion years. But I am very thankful for anti-anxiety meds.

I am so NOT a natural mommy. I am a work in progress. The boys teach me something new every day. ;)

Karen said...

Half a cup of watered down juice, every other day as a regular thing. Or the prunes. But consider yourself warned about the prunes: don't plan any outings w/o an extra change of clothes for both of you within 48 hours of ingesting them. Once she starts table food in earnest, lots of fresh fruit. Go ask my Chicken-y sister about mandarin oranges.

They are fickle little creatures. And I agree with you - every time you think you have it down, they change it up. But there's something good to be found at each stage, amongst all the missed naps, tantrums, boo-boos, school traumas, etc.